We finally decided to ditch regular toilet paper and switch to homemade TP, otherwise known as “family cloth.” (And we’re telling the whole internet!)
Frank and I moved away from toilet paper for a number of reasons:
(1) It’s dry.
(2) The chemicals it’s processed in are bad for those sensitive areas.
(3) It leaves particles. (Gross.)
Also, did you know that it takes 37 gallons of water, 1.3 kilowatt/hours (KWh) of electricity and some 1.5 pounds of wood to make a SINGLE roll of toilet paper?  Not to mention all the energy it takes to process it from our sewer system.
Chemical-laden baby wipes are no good either. They have things like methylisothiazolinone in them, which I can’t pronounce. As a general rule, if I can’t pronounce it (or eat it), then I don’t put it in or on my body.
For years now, I’ve been getting really thin tears “down there” that feel like paper cuts. I’ve now learned that these are called vaginal fissures and can be caused by certain soaps, artificial fragrances, tampons, scented or colored panty liners, and paper toilet paper. When I got married, these vaginal fissures became even more of a problem, as they made intercourse very painful.
Think about how MUCH bleached, processed plant material we put in that area! Tampons. Disposable pads. Toilet paper. It’s all highly processed and full of chemicals, and we put it RIGHT THERE all up in our most sensitive bits!
The solution? Eating a balanced diet (check!) and cloth toilet paper. (I also gave up tampons to use a Mooncup instead, but that’s a different post!)
Okay okay. So is giving up TP taking it too far? Maybe for some of you who are less sensitive than me, it seems absolutely nuts. But guess what?
After we switched to family cloth and cloth pads, MY PAPER-CUT TEARS DISAPPEARED.
For me, it’s life-changing. Living with those tears was terribly painful, and it made fun married-people stuff really hard. I’ve had zero tears since we switched. ZERO. Not even one. And to be honest ladies, I really feel like I’m pampering myself! It’s like when you go to a spa or fancy hotel and they don’t have paper towels, they have fluffy white washcloths that you throw in a woven basket. You know, THOSE? It’s like that, 3-5 times a day. :)
How to make family cloth
First, get some organic flannel patterns that you just adore. (I am seriously in love with these little birds!) Then, I suggest you get a cute little fabric bin to put the finished squares in. Simply cut, double layer, and sew into squares. Then you’re done!
Some of you might be thinking that this is going a little too far or that this is gross, but it makes so much sense to me. For you cloth diaper users, this may not be too much of a stretch. And if you’re really concerned about bacteria, instead of throwing the used cloths into a dry bin, you can throw them into a vinegar and water solution, and perhaps add a little tea tree oil, as well. Voilà!
Many people around the world prefer to rinse first, using bidets, some sort of water bottle or vessel, or even spray bottles. With family cloth, we use a mini spray bottle in conjunction with the cloth. We only ever need to use one square at a time; and overall, it seems much more hygienic than regular paper toilet paper, which sometimes doesn’t get everything and can leave paper particles. (Ew.)
Also, if you’re wondering if they smell. They don’t. At least ours don’t. Using water and cloth is so much cleaner than paper….I can’t even describe it to you non-water/cloth using folks. Pooping shouldn’t be that messy. If you’re having that much stink and mess…well…I think maybe you might want to evaluate more than just what you’re wiping with.
For me, family cloth has made my bathroom time just *that* much more luxurious, AND it’s helped to heal my body. Go on! Try it! ;)